Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday denied the accusations of the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay that they are using former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado to pin their family down over the controversial P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Parking Building.
In an interview with DZRH, Cayetano said they are just following the trail of evidence, adding that the evidence is the price of the car park building, which the senator said was supposedly P800 million.
“Sinusundan lang naman natin ang ebidensya,” he said. “Pano sinasabi na si Vice Mayor ay ginagamit? Sa aming pagsusuri, ang dalawang building na nasa Makati na luxury, condominium, ay 46 floors, P2 billion lang. Ang 57 floors na Greenbelt Grand Residence P2.8 billion lang.”
“Samantala yung parking building, 11 palapag lang. Anlaki ng diperensya,” he added.
During the Senate blue ribbon committee’s hearing of the car park building, Mercado accused Binay of benefitting from the building project, while also admitting that he himself pocketed kickbacks.
But Binay accused Cayetano and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who filed a resolution to look into the controversy, of using the Senate inquiry as a platform for their political interest.
Cayetano and Trillanes have expressed their interest in running for higher office in 2016.
Binay also accused Trillanes of threatening a witness, a building contractor from the Hilmarcs Construction Corp., to prevent him from attending the Senate inquiry.
“There is a motive here,” Binay said.
On the other hand, Cayetano said the Binays, starting from the Vice President, Makati Mayor Jun Jun Binay and Senator Nancy Binay, are just making excuses that the building is “world class,” “environment friendly” and that the Commission on Audit (COA) cleared the building.
“Sa ngayon tatlo lang ang sinasabi ng mga Binay, world class daw yung building. Green building at cleared daw sila sa COA,” he said.
“Yung COA mismo na mismo nagsabi na gumastos ng P1 billion, bakit pa nagdagdag pa ng halos P1 billion, yung eleventh floor na lang ang gagamitin,” he asked.
In comparing the car park building, Cayetano questioned the price of the controversial Makati building to the premium condominiums in the same city such as the Shangrila Grand Towers and Greenbelt Residences.
“Wag niyo naman sasabihin na ang car park ng gobyerno at mas maganda pa sa Shangrila Grand towers at Greenbelt residences,” he pointed out.